For collectors, the taste for this type of car is predictable, the most coveted, rare and valued of all time. The classic car market in 2023 is expected to take on a more significant market share as interest in this subcategory continues to see strong growth. Rare and vintage cars from brands such as Ferrari and Porsche are on many collectors’ shopping lists. According to the major classic car auction houses, sports cars from the golden age of motorsport and rallying will take the top spots this year.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe, 1955
Sold for $142 million in 2022, this 1955 Mercedes tops the rankings. One of two existing 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé was auctioned in May 2022 at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. Based on the W 196 R, this racing car, which won two world championships, was truly special because, in addition to only one other being like it, it was the personal use car of Rudolf Uhlenhaut, the engineer who created it. Equipped with a 3.0 eight-cylinder engine that took it to 290 km/h, it was one of the fastest of its generation. According to Marcus Breitschwerdt, Head of Mercedes-Benz Heritage, “The buyer has agreed that the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé will remain accessible for public viewing on special occasions, while the second example remains in company ownership and will continue to be displayed at Mercedes-Benz Museum”.
Talbot-Lago couple T150-C-SS Teardrop, 1937
This model became the most expensive vehicle sold at a classic car auction in 2022. At $13,425,000, this is the most valuable French car ever sold at auction. Furthermore, it is the only French car, besides the Bugatti, that has ever sold for over ten million dollars at auction. Such value record is due to the fact that it is one of only two examples with this specific bodywork – fully enveloping, with rotated front fenders, called Modéle New York. The other existing model doesn’t even have its original bodywork intact anymore, making this already rare car even more desirable. It has gone through a few owners over the years, not being seen for forty years until it left California in 2022.
Triumph Spitfire, 1962
The Triumph Spitfire is a 1960s British sports car that has managed to stand the test of time, mainly because parts are still available and clubs of loyal owners who value what they have. When the Spitfire hit the market in 1962, it was relatively affordable to purchase and, as a result, performed at a relatively high sales level. This roadster is a fine automobile, simple enough that it can be maintained by owners with a manual handy. Therefore, it can be considered a ‘stable investment’, which means that the respective values have not fluctuated much in recent years. However, the Spitfire is expected to skyrocket once the next generation finds it attractive. For example, the quoted value on an insurance policy has increased by 27 percent in the past two years. This was mostly achieved by vintage cars in tender condition, which are the most valuable, like this one, costing £28,800.
Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti 1962
Also from 1962, we have this Ferrari. To promote the Ferrari brand in the US in the late 1950s, importer Luigi Chinetti – a longtime partner of Enzo Ferrari – created the North American Racing Team (NART), which operated as a supplier of racing cars to drivers eager for local championships. The success was such that the Italian manufacturer began to accept special orders for the 275 GTB/4. Fully restored and worth $27,500,000, this bolide claims rarity, a long pedigree of mechanical development, beautifully sculpted bodywork, and an extremely successful racing record. Without a doubt, this Ferrari 250 GTO has justifiably evolved into the world’s most desirable collector’s car: an instantly recognizable shape and a salacious presence that no other automobile can claim. Interestingly, this car was a movie star and appeared in the film The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), with actor Steve McQueen at the wheel.
Porsche 911, 1965
This was the best-selling classic Porsche in 2021 and is rising in value in 2023. Car gurus have seen the price of this car rise steadily over the years, specially making it one of the best investment cars of the last few years. Not only because of this, but also because, as of this year, most classic Porsche models are the best investments in terms of classic cars due to the brand’s wide range of models on the market. The classic Porsche 924 is also one of the favorite cars to appreciate due to its lower investment price. Therefore, for those looking to invest in vintage cars, the 1965-1980 Porsche 911 or 1975-1988 Porsche 924 are both excellent classic investment vehicles this year.
Aston Martin DBR1, 1956
This is a racing classic that was guided by Sir Stirling Moss, considered the greatest driver without an F1 world title. In turn, this is the most important Aston Martin ever produced. Painted olive green, the car is considered the most perfect Aston Martin DBR1, as it was the first to come off the production line. At the auction price of $22,550,000, the first of five DBR1s built between 1956 and 1958 became one of the most valuable British cars, as, having reached that number, not only is it the most expensive Aston Martin in history, but it also beat the record for the most expensive British car sold at auction. Until now, that “throne” belonged to the 1955 Jaguar D-Type, which was sold for $21.78 million.